When fashion and technology mix, the results can garner unwelcome attention (hello, Google Glass). And that’s just what the makers of this smart bracelet are hoping will happen. A new high-tech wristband recently released to civil-rights and aid workers triggers an alarm when the wearer is in danger.
The greatest threat to workers is the stealth nature of attacks. These bracelets remove that danger.
GPS (basic mapping) and GSM (mobile phone) technology work together as a personal alarm that sends information about the wearer when danger is imminent. These alerts don’t simply go to police and co-workers; they are posted on Facebook and Twitter, signaling the world of an attack within minutes.
Developed by the Civil Rights Defenders campaign group and named for murdered Russian human-rights activist Natalia Estemirova, the Natalia Project is a chunky bracelet that sends out information detailing when and where attacks take place. The hardware itself is manufactured by a Swedish company called PFO. Civil Rights Defenders “stumbled across this product when discussing how to further increase the security,” an organization spokesperson said.
Each bracelet also stores information about its owner. Alerts can be sent manually by a rights worker, or alarms are triggered if the bracelet is forcefully removed. Civil Rights Defenders hopes these bracelets will act as a deterrent to potential attackers. [See video for more info.]
Currently, 30 such bracelets are in the field. Civil Rights Defenders is hoping to release a total of 55 by the end of 2014, but additional funding is needed. It’s estimated that each individual bracelet, calibrated and monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, will cost approximately $11,000 per person per year. If you'd like to help but can't afford a donation, you can also pitch in by signing up to monitor the bracelets of individual rights’ workers via social media.